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Supporting the Greek Authorities in Managing the National Reception System for Asylum Seekers and Vulnerable Migrants

The program “Supporting the Greek Authorities in Managing the National Reception System for Asylum Seekers and Vulnerable Migrants (SMS)” is implemented by ZEUXIS in cooperation with IOM and is funded by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund of the European Union (DG HOME). It aims to provide security and support services to 30 Unaccompanied Minors (UMCs) hosted in the Safe Zone of Malakasa Long Term Accommodation Center.

Τhe scientific team of ZEUXIS, consisting of a social worker, psychologist, educatοr, lawyer and interpreters, provided unaccompanied minors with a personalized treatment of their needs for food, health, education, information, psychological support, socialization and social inclusion, development of interests, entertainment, sports and creative activities, in the framework of an interdisciplinary approach.

The intervention aims to empower unaccompanied minors and to best prepare them for living conditions and requirements that will arise for them shortly. The intervention unfolds around 2 significant axes: psychosocial support and non-formal education, through an interdisciplinary approach.

Psychosocial support includes:

⦁ psychosocial history intake to design a personalized intervention
⦁ individual sessions with the Social Worker/ the Psychologist: consultancy, therapy & joint planning of the Child’s Development Plan
⦁ psychosocial group sessions for the communication of important knowledge/information, strengthening group links and peaceful relations

Non-formal education aims at the UMCs’ development of physical, emotional and cognitive/ creative skills through:

⦁ teaching Greek and English to serve the daily communication needs of UMCs
⦁ experiential and participatory activities
⦁ recreational and sports activities
⦁ commitment to safety rules and ownership of procedures

In October, ZEUXIS provided protection and assistance services to 31 Unaccompanied Migrant Children (UMCs) hosted in the Safe Zone, bringing the total number of beneficiaries since the beginning of the program to 38. During the reporting period, two distinct phases may be identified in the Safe Zone's operation; in the first phase lasting up to 12 October, access to external services (appointments with doctors and the Asylum Service) was prohibited, as Malakasa LTAC was under "full sanitary isolation" following a joint ministerial decision by Ministers of Civil Protection, Health and Migration and Asylum. From 13 October until the end of the month, UMCs were able to benefit from the full spectrum of protection and assistance services.

In early October, ZEUXIS’ lawyer had a group meeting with the UMCs on the necessity for imposing the lockdown in Malakasa LTAC and were informed that their registrations with the Asylum Service would not be canceled. The preparatory work carried out by Zeuxis' lawyer during the lockdown phase allowed seven (7) UMCs to be fully registered with the Asylum Service and receive their international protection applicant cards in the second half of the reporting period.

Issues discussed with UMCs during individual sessions with ZEUXIS’ social worker and psychologist revolved around overcoming Covid-19 related stress, mood swings, eating and sleeping disorders. Also, as five (5) beneficiaries have reached adulthood, the issue of the transition to adulthood and the challenges at this stage were thoroughly discussed. Relevant sessions included providing support and guidance both to address practical problems and to address the demands of majority on an emotional level
The context, as well as the quantitative outcomes during October, is outlined below:

OCTOBER 2020 – PROJECT RESULTS

⦁ 31 UMCs accommodated in the Safe Zone
⦁ 16 members of staff on the field (Coordinator, Interpreters, Social worker, Psychologist, Lawyer, Educator, Driver, Caregivers)

Basic support:
⦁ 24 h presence of caregivers
⦁ Interpretation in Arabic, Farsi, Dari, Pashto and French
⦁ Daily routines (hygiene and ground rules in the Safe Area)
⦁ Distribution of short-sleeved t-shirt, long-sleeved t-shirt and jacket provided by ZEUXIS
⦁ Distribution of 847 portions of food provided by IOM
⦁ Provision of monthly cash allowance

Psychosocial support:
⦁ 2 social history intakes
⦁ 19 needs’ / requests’ assessments
⦁ 11 consultancy sessions
⦁ 33 Individual sessions with the psychologist
⦁ 2 sessions for Child’s Development Plan
⦁ 1 intervention in crisis
⦁ 29 referrals/ escorts for the provision of services
⦁ 18 individual sessions with the lawyer
⦁ 1 Best Interests Assessment (BIA) interview

Education, recreation and leisure:
⦁ 11 English lessons
⦁ 44 Greek lessons
⦁ 2 Mathematics lessons
⦁ 1 Music lesson
⦁ 15 recreational activities (handicrafts, games, preparing pizza and movie concept)
⦁ 2 sports activities (volleyball and basketball)


URL address of DG HOME: http://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/
URL address of IOM Greece: https://greece.iom.int/en
URL address of Zeuxis:  http://www.zeuxis.org.gr

 

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